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There's a Skillet in my Room – IBM Impact Day One

Signature at MGM Junior Suite

IBM’s annual middleware/SOA conference, Impact. I wasn’t in attendance last year, but James managed to capture several episodes for RedMonkTV.

Last year, IBM was throwing around the figure of 53, as in owning 53% of the SOA market, according to a Wintergreen report. As James said then:

Its been a long time since IBM was so dominant in a market. According to Wintergreen Research IBM has an eye-popping 53% of the SOA tools market. I don’t know about Wintergreen’s methodology or whatever, but its pretty clear that in the Fortune 500 SOA game IBM is playing its hand extremely well. To see competitors play on IBM’s turf is very interesting. I mean trying to beat IBM on consulting-led transformation, with integration software pull-through doesn’t make a great deal of sense. It would be like me trying to go head to head with Gartner Group. IBM has literally thousands of salespeople on the SOA case, which nobody else can match.

Having just come from MuleCon myself, as I was getting a cup of coffee this morning I was thinking one thing:

So, open source gave commercial application servers beat things up pretty poorly there for awhile, and now we’ve got things like Mule and the old stackless-stack. That is: simplified, cheap, lean SOA. Now, never mind if those startups aren’t doing gang-busters. Worse-case: what if they’ve figured out the right price for those technologies – free or cheap – and just haven’t figured out the business model around them?

That’s the kind of question that’s hard to take seriously when you’re staring down the barrel of a gun that keeps shooting out millions of dollars. IBM’s pretty good at avoiding stones from little guys – to James’ point above, they merely elevate the market conversation way, way above where any market-midget can reach. Indeed, the question isn’t so much how they’ll avoid it, but how they’ll use it to their advantage.

Disclaimer: IBM is a client and paid T&E to this event. MuleSource is a client as well.

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Categories: Conferences, Enterprise Software, Open Source.